Resumes on the corner of hope

May 1, 2012

By Mario Anzuoni

I met Kelly Edwards on a street corner. He was not the average person you see at traffic lights; he was nicely dressed, freshly shaven with a professional demeanor, holding a sign that stated he was looking for work. I handed him my business card and kindly asked him to get in touch with me.

Given the job situation and the U.S. economy struggling to create new jobs, I was interested in knowing more. Two days later Kelly called. We spent an hour on the phone where he started to tell me his story. At that point I asked if I could spend a day with him to show an average day of job seeking; he agreed. About a week later, I arrived at Kelly’s home in West Covina where he greeted me with freshly brewed coffee.

Kelly Edwards is 54 years old, and has been unemployed since 2008. He put three kids through college and now lives with his wife Lynne and their 13-year-old son Kal-El. He has been a full time and part time employee, but never without a job. With two decades of experience in the food and beverage industry Kelly thought it would be a good idea to move from Portland to Los Angeles four years ago, but he is still without a full time position with the exception of a few handyman jobs.

With coffee mugs in our hand we headed into his office, where every morning, before heading out to his corner, he checks online for job postings. While I was there he sent out a few resumes; it was clear he has done this process many times. Then he led me to his shed as he needed to make an additional sign. Kelly is crafty so the sign was sturdy and ready to go in minutes. We arrived on his street corner, which he explained took three days to find. He also told me that street people are territorial about their corners and threatened him away from a few. The day was overcast but fortunately it didn’t rain. Kelly spent about three hours on his street corner receiving business cards, sometimes a little cash, giving out resumes and a little hope.

4 comments

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I am in my thirties, I work for a company that is globally known to be one of the best in what we do! I work with amazing people which mostly are in their late 40/50’s. The company we work for sadly is making great changes for “the company” (I said sadly because thousands have lost their jobs and thousands more will – just a matter of time) reading this gives me a reality check on where we stand as a work force. If people in their 20/30’s are having a hard time finding a good job or a job for that matter, I can just imagine for more mature folks. This scares me to my bones, people just like Kelly Edwards will appear, more and more… and what about “WE” the people that will reach our 50/60/70? I wonder what would happen to us them. My generation is also known to be great expenders, I am one of them….i better start saving…

Posted by MayraV | Report as abusive

I just met Kelly on the street. He is great and it makes me sad. I tweeted about him and networked him on email and facebook. I have my own business and do a lot of marketing, so I tried to really get him out there. Louise ;)
It’s ok he is a Steelers fan. I am a Bronco fan, but that works!

Posted by louiseg913 | Report as abusive

So many fine people have shown their caring and humanity by supplying me with many ‘Handy-Man” jobs!
FACT:I get more work from this sign and the handing out of my flyer/skill-list/resume than I do from the over 12 so-called ‘professional employment search companies I’m signed up with on-line!
Some things just take the HANDS ON approach.

Posted by kmansacool1 | Report as abusive

I’m having to do this less and less now (what with all the Handy-Man Work I’ve so generously been given… yet I’m still “”GOALING”" for that full-time permanent position so this BLOG has a happy ending…..

Posted by kmansacool1 | Report as abusive